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Old 01-03-2009, 09:28 PM   #1
scruffy
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Thumbnails in Windows Explorer

Documenting this for others to find, since it took me a while to put the pieces together.

If you'd like thumbnails in your ebook documents when viewing them via Windows, there are methods which will GREATLY help you in this quest.

First of all, CDisplayEx - http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdisplayex
Installing this, and using the included batchfile adds CDispShell.dll to your system. This will generate thumbnails of .cbr and .cbz files (which are comic formats, but really are rar and zip formats with images inside)

Now, let's add real zip and rar archives:

Create a file named thumbs.reg and put into it
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CompressedFolder\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{EF7605D6-C512-4F90-827B-5DE32DAB94F7}"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinRAR\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{EF7605D6-C512-4F90-827B-5DE32DAB94F7}"
This adds .zip and .rar, but let's take a step further, because .epub is really a zip file too:
Code:
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.epub\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{EF7605D6-C512-4F90-827B-5DE32DAB94F7}"
(obviously, you see the pattern, if you have other extensions you wish to "cover", which are really 'hidden in a zip' formats, such as .odt, just use the above, changing the .epub)

Clicking on the .reg file will ask you if you want to install these entries into your registry. Be warned, you could hurt your windows install doing the wrong thing if you don't know what you are doing. Not that the above will, but a disclaimer is in order here!!!! All the above does is point Windows to the DLL above (installed by CDisplayEx) for each of these extensions. (If you don't have winrar, but use 7zip for example, you might want to also do .rar instead of Winrar in the above)

The net effect is that the 'first' image will now be the thumbnail... so make sure the cover image is named with 00Cover, or otherwise numerically+alphabetically first.

Magically: covers when looking at the files in explorer!

Other thumbnails:

PDF: Adobe screwed a lot of people re thumbnails when they 'upgraded' from Reader/Acrobat V8 to v8.1+ (See http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.3c05718d)
While Reader 9 is supposed to fix this, the best answer seems to be installing V7 of Reader, and then PDF thumbnails of the 'cover' or first page appear correctly. Feedback (good or bad) for later versions is welcome.

If you are using a reader (FBReader for example) that will read inside a zip file, you can easily include a cover image in your zip, so even the formats otherwise 'unthumbable' will gain one: RTF or HTML for instance.

Still looking for PRC, LIT, and other formats... anyone out there doing something with them?
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
scruffy
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Another important piece: thumbnail size

Install TweakUI (free from Microsoft) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TweakUI

Adjust the thumbnail size/quality to an enjoyable level. I like 200+ for very large thumbnails, but even 100 or 125 makes for a nice size cover.

See example config: http://lifehacker.com/photogallery/tweakui/2831604

Last edited by scruffy; 01-03-2009 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
scruffy
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For Windows 7, due to the 64 bit issues, much of the above doesn't work. We need 64 thumbnailers, people!

For PDF thumbnails, install PDF XChange Lite
http://www.docu-track.com/home/prod_...-XChange_Tools
Why, because Adobe has dropped the ball for 64 bit... horrible, just horrible.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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Hi can't get this reg hack to work, I have Windows 8 64-bit
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifergus View Post
Hi can't get this reg hack to work, I have Windows 8 64-bit
I have Windows 8.1 64-bit and, while trying to display thumbnails for ePubs, I realized that my thumbnails for PDF weren't showing up either (in Directory Opus, or, for that matter, Windows Explorer).

1) Fix Acrobat thumbnails

There seems to be a screw up by Adobe which prevent 64-bit thumbnail view. Leo Davidson has kindly made a fix for this issue.

2) Get ePub thumbnails

I followed this procedure. It's based on what Scruffy says but for Windows 7 (and in my case Windows 8.1 64-bit) it is suggested to use CBX Shell. That is, (1) install CBX Shell, and (2) add the shell extension (i.e. put the following in a 'thumbs.reg' file and add it to the Registry):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.epub\ShellEx\{BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]
@="{9E6ECB90-5A61-42BD-B851-D3297D9C7F39}"

and now both my thumbnails for pdf's and ePub's show up.

3) Metadata for ePubs

It would seem that Microsoft and, whoever kindly makes replacements for its mediocre file manager, have not realized how many we are using ePubs on a daily basis. So if someone could figure out how we get also metadata for ePubs to show up as an info tip then it would be extremely useful.

Last edited by Pachuco; 04-07-2015 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Clarification
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